New business frontiers for old Northern NY theme park

NORTH HUDSON, N.Y. (WCAX) New hope and promise for a successful future at a place in the Adirondacks known for being bleak.

The theme park Frontier Town put North Hudson, New York, on the map. When it closed, the town's economy dried up. Now, a new plan and players are working together to usher in a new era of business in the community.

"Knowing that spring is a sign of rebirth, this is really a day of rebirth for this property and what can be done for this community," said Ken Lynch of the Department of Energy Conservation.

"Am I excited? Am I hopeful? Do I see a great future? You betcha," North Hudson Town Supervisor Ron Moore said.

After a year of planning, ground was officially broken Wednesday for the Frontier Town Campground, now home to Paradox Brewing and the Equestrian and Day Use Area.

"We're going to connect this to local businesses. I mean, that's why this property is so amazing because it's right in the middle of North Hudson. We have a chance to reconnect it to the area and re-attract investment to this area," said Basil Seggos of the Department of Energy Conservation.

Thousands used to come here every year to have family fun at Frontier Town. Today, North Hudson is just shy of a ghost town.

"What a turnout, I think. Ron, am I right to say this is the largest amount of people to be on this property since 1998?" Seggos asked with a laugh.

After the Western theme park closed in the late 1990s after 40 years of business, the area saw a steep decline of visitors and many businesses closed.

"In some ways, people almost forgot about the Adirondacks and Catskills of New York," Seggos said.

Everyone is betting that this new plan-- drawn up by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the Department of Environmental Conservation and Essex County officials-- will bring back the tourists.

"I believe we'll have a new, unique recreational opportunity that will make this a world-class destination for people," Moore said.

A lot of praise is going to Paradox Brewing.

"Paradox has really come up with an amazing vision," Seggos said.

Paradox Brewery has been open the last four years in Schroon Lake. They will be the first private business coming to North Hudson since the closure of Frontier Town.

"Walked over to Ron's office there and I said, 'Hey, how would you like a brewery to be located somewhere here?' His eyes opened up and I think I found my home," said Paul Mrocka of Paradox Brewing.

The brewing company, too, has a dream for the land.

"Imagine a festival right down at the end of the road there, a stage for bands, a craft beer show, whatever we can all through this area here. People coming up from the campground having a beer, it's just wonderful," Mrocka said.

Paradox hopes to open by the summer of 2019. They will employ about 30 people from the area.